Romanced by the Gem – Impulse Buy Leads to Fabulous Ring

I Took a Chance on Love and I’m So Glad!

It was love for a gemstone set, an unusual gemstone.

Impulsively buying the lily pad patterned Azure Malachite Chrysocolla gemstones opened the door to one of this Santa Barbara Jeweler’s happiest designing projects.

A Joy Shared is a Joy Doubled

Part of the joy of this jewelry designing adventure was picturing exactly who I wanted to show these amazing gems to. My dear friend and client Charla, was as fascinated by them as I was. We’re both over the moon with her new earrings and ring.

The History of the Lily Pad Patterned Pretties

How I came to buy these gemstones involves accidental good timing and an interesting story.

Back in the eighties there was a mine called the Morenci Mine in Arizona. It was a sporadically mined copper mine.

Lily pad pattern Azure Malachite Chrysocolla Ring

Lily Pad Pattern Azure Malachite Chrysocolla Gem in Custom Ring

It had opened in 1872 and closed in 1989. The costs of mining copper were higher than the yield could support.

An enterprising gemstone miner worked this mine in the seventies and found an amazing seam of this gorgeous Azure Malachite Chrysocolla. He enthusiastically mined what he could find.

He’d never seen that lily pad pattern before and decided to hoard the best pieces  as his retirement plan.

A Miner’s Retirement and an Impulsive Trip to the Tucson Gem Show Cause Happiness

Fast forward to 2005 or so. The miner decided it was time to retire and my gem dealer was the man he called.

Blonde and gorgeous ring

Romancing the Gem

When I impulsively went to the AGTA (American Gem Trade Association) Show at the Tucson Gem Show, I discovered these luscious pieces looking for a loving home.

I gulped, I drooled, I bought.

In hearing the story of their discovery I also found out that when copper prices rose in 2006, the mine was reopened and is now an open pit mine, using heavy machinery.

Any other delicate beautiful gemstones will never be found.

Happily these were found before the heavy gouging began.

The Fun Part, Designing the Set

Wax Model Of Azure Malachite Chrysocolla Ring Charla chose a freeform bold design for her ring, simple yet gorgeous, to be made for the large undulating beauty.

We went for simple bezel set French clip back, (post and clip) for the earrings. It’s picture is at the end.

Ring with Azure Malachite and lily pad pattern

The underside view of Charla’s ring

Such Beauty Deserves Lavish Attention

In honor of how wonderfully Charla’s amazing ring turned out, I went by my friend Madeleine Vite’s studio.

She owns and does fabulous photography. I just  had to show her the ring and have her capture its essence on film. So this awesome ring got the star treatment which I share with you now.

Azure Malachite Earrings by Calla Gold Jewelry

Charla’s Azure Malachite French Clip Backed Bezel Set Earrings


Your Personal Jeweler,

Calla Gold

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About Calla Gold

Calla Gold is a Personal Jeweler and Author who takes pride in working with clients one-on-one to integrate their personal sense of style and taste into custom designed jewelry and repaired jewelry pieces.   Unlike typical Santa Barbara jewelry businesses, Calla Gold has no brick-and-mortar location. Calla Gold comes to you, bringing you the jewelry collection you want to see and collaborating with you to create unique custom jewelry. Calla also works with at-a-distance clients.

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Mark Lasater
12 years ago

Great Designs are always possible with great stones, and you can see
that Calla loves her work, with these One-Of-A-Kind pieces. Mark

Charla Dufour
Charla Dufour
12 years ago

I am so very proud of the ring and earrings that Calla designed for me. She is truly the best! Thank you, AGAIN, Calla, for always designing the most unique and beautiful pieces of jewelry for me. Charla

Renee Manseau
Renee Manseau
12 years ago

Calla, I love the back story behind these gems! Not only does Charla have an amazingly beautiful ring and pair of earrings designed just for her, she has a great story to tell about them.